Where’s your joy been recently?
Paul the apostle gives us a beautiful command. And it’s extremely helpful as well. Because listening to it can guide us back to our joy, even if we seem to have left it behind long ago. Even if it seems to be forever gone.
Paul writes, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12, NIV).
If you want to relocate your joy, find your hope. Hope is the flashlight that will help you spot the reasons you have to be joyful. Your hope is Jesus. His death and resurrection give us all a hope that even death cannot take away from us.
If you want to strengthen your patience muscle, realize that the way that happens is through exercise. God does the “heavy lifting,” of course, but when we are in the midst of affliction, we are forced to stretch our patience, and this teaches us that we can be at peace, knowing Jesus is with us through thick and thin.
And be faithful in prayer, Paul writes. We need to stay connected to God in prayer, pouring out our hearts and minds to him. We need to give God our pain (and our gratitude too), so that he can powerfully restore and replenish our joy.
Because, bottom line, for the follower of Jesus Christ, God is our joy!
His love. His forgiveness. His peace. His strength. His courage.
And his amazing grace!
Those are our very best reasons for joy. So yes, as Paul commands, let’s…
“… be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.”
Our Bible reading for Wednesday, July 29, is 1 Chronicles 6:1-81, Romans 11:33 – 12:21 and Psalm 89:30-37.
Jesus, help me relocate my joy through hope, patience and prayer. Thank you for giving me the best reason ever to be joyful.
Header image based on "353/365 - 09/16/10 [365 Days @ 50mm] - Peek-a-booo" by Shardayyy, CC By 2.0